Mixed martial arts in Myanmar is on the rise. ONE Championship athletes Aung La N Sang, Phoe Thaw and Bozhena Antoniyar all experienced success inside the cage in 2018.
Together the three of them are leading the charge of Burmese athletes onto the world stage and are inspiring the next generation of athletes in the process.
20-year-old Punnya Sai is just one of the next generation of athletes looking to follow in the footsteps of the current crop of Myanmar superstars.
Born in Myanmar and raised in New Zealand, Punnya Sai burst onto the international scene last June, when he won his professional debut while participating in Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series show.
The ONE Warrior Series is designed to give talented up and coming mixed martial artists an opportunity to win a contract with ONE Championship, the world’s largest martial arts organisation.
Punnya Sai won his debut bout via submission in the opening round, an impressive feat considering his strength lies in his striking. He quickly returned to action to action three months later, winning his second ONE Warrior Series bout with a spectacular 14-second stoppage victory over Nepal’s Krishna Lal Tamang.